Richard Ettl interviewed on Monocle 24’s Eureka podcast

SkyCell’s CEO and Co-Founder, Richard Ettl, sat down with Monocle 24’s podcast host, Daniel Bach, to talk about SkyCell’s growth over the past decade, from the earliest days of an idea to becoming a global leader in the field that now works with 15 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies worldwide.


Richard explained how he and Co-Founder Nico Ros had originally looked at designing a new type of insulation for the pharma industry, when during a meeting with a leading head of supply chain in Basel they were asked whether they could design a new air freight container instead. On examining the significant issues faced at the time by contemporary solutions, Richard and Nico realised that they could develop a solution that would reduce temperature deviations from 8-12% down to near zero, reducing cost, spoilage and the environmental impact wherever you were in the world. The SkyCell hybrid container was born.

With one million pallets of high-value pharmaceutical products transported by air globally each year, Richard and Nico recognised the importance of being able to track every pallet throughout the journey. Richard talked to Daniel about the introduction of IoT sensors in 2013 that allows the SkyCell team to work with clients and intervene if needed as pallets move around the world. As a result, SkyCell has the richest data set in the world for pharmaceutical companies to utilise in de-risking their supply chains – nearly one billion data points – which is especially important when faced by the extreme disruption to air travel caused by global lockdown earlier this year.

Richard explained how his daughters’ recent vaccines were in all likelihood transported in his containers, a reminder of how important the smooth functioning of supply chains and vaccine viability is to us all personally.